Relations of the mind to the body
A definite relationship exists between the mind and the body. Some theorists express this relationship as the mind-body connection, and many continue to debate about whether the mind controls the body or whether the body controls the mind. “The body-mind problem concerns the relationship between minds, or mental processes, and bodily states or processes. Philosophers aim to explain how a supposedly non-material mind can influence a material body and vice-versa,” (Philosophy of the Mind, n.d.).
Although it may be difficult to explain, there is evidence that people experience this mind-body connection on a regular basis. Throughout history people have used their minds to control their bodies. For example, “using ancient meditation techniques, Tibetan monks have demonstrated to scientists their ability to raise their own body temperature and hold it high enough that they are able to dry out wet cold sheets wrapped around their body, even in a chilly room,” (Bridger, 2006).
Our bodies respond to our minds, the way we think, and to our emotions. What happens in our minds greatly affects our bodies, as there is a definite relation between the two. However, many people don’t realize the extent of this connection. For example, “poor emotional health can weaken your body’s immune system, making you more likely to get colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times,” (American Academy of Family Physicians, 2006). If you want to change your body, you have to change your thoughts. “We do not realize that little ordinary negative thoughts we have throughout the day have the power to create substantial changes within our bodies. Negative thoughts wreak havoc on your body and will age you at a greatly accelerated rate,” (The Mind Body Connection, n.d.).
I believe in the body-mind relation because I have experienced the connection. When I have allowed myself to think bad thoughts, I have noticed that my body feels weak like those thoughts have somehow sucked the energy out of my body. I have also allowed myself to think negative thoughts to the point of getting a headache, or feeling sick to the stomach. I don’t think we can separate our minds from our bodies. When I think happy thoughts I feel more energetic.
Science and medicine will never be able to prove every aspect of the mind-body connections, and that is not really important because I doubt that every reality of life can be proven. But I know there is a strong relation between the mind and body and it is beneficial for us to learn more about this connection. Knowing that our thoughts affect our bodies is a motivating factor in helping me pay more attention to what I think, and to focus on thinking positive thoughts.
American Academy of Family Physicians (2006).Mind/Body Connection: How Your Emotions Affect Your Health. Retrieve April 1, 2007 from
Bridger, D.(2006). How Much Can Your Mind Control Your Body? Retrieved April 1, 2007, from
Philosophy Of The Mind (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mind
The Mind Body Connection (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2007 from